The UK’s National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) has received £4.3m (US$5.2m) in funding to study global changes in the atmosphere with its partner network of more than 40 organizations across Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia.
As part of the collaboration, researchers will study high-impact weather risks in the tropics, such as floods, heatwaves and droughts, and advance knowledge of the chemical reactions involved in global warming and ozone depletion.
The collaborative network, led by NCAS, will combine atmospheric research capabilities for making long-term measurements and real-time observations, and developing atmospheric models and new technologies.
Working together, partners will be able to define priorities for resources, expand their range of expertise, and turn research into actionable climate services worldwide. The investment was awarded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) from its £39m (US$46.8m) fund to tackle major environmental challenges, including sea-level rise, food security and greenhouse gas emissions.
Steve Woolnough, professor of climate science at the University of Reading and NCAS, will lead the high-impact weather aspects of the program. He said, “As part of the investment, the research program will support long-term partnerships with national meteorological departments and climate service organizations, and provide a pathway for developing new partnerships where opportunities are identified.
“We depend on collaboration to help us address the challenges we face. Low- and middle-income countries are often more vulnerable to weather hazards. It’s essential that we improve early warning systems to build resilience, especially under future climates. In particular, our work will help us understand processes in our atmosphere that contribute to weather hazards, look into the predictability of those events and then improve early warnings.”
Ally Lewis, professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of York and NCAS, will lead on global composition. He said, “The investment allows us to continue our contributions to global initiatives coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environment Program, including long-term assessment of changes in greenhouse gases and pollution, and to develop global air quality standards.
“We operate a global atmospheric observatory in partnership with Cape Verde and provide unique data on changes in the atmosphere over the Atlantic and West Africa. In collaboration with the United Nations, our research helps to develop new guidelines for air quality standards and the legal framework that underpins governance in low- and middle-income countries.”